Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Buddhist relics on display at Clearwater church

CLEARWATER — Local residents and visitors are in for an enlightening experience.

Beginning Friday, the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater will welcome the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour, a traveling exhibit of some 1,000 sacred Buddhist relics. The exhibit is open to the public at no charge, although donations are welcomed.

The relics consist of delicate crystals of varying sizes and colors, all found among the cremation ashes of dozens of Buddhist masters buried in India, Korea and other countries of the Far East. Buddhists traditionally believe each crystal embodies the wisdom and compassion of the master and is deliberately produced by the master at his death.

The word Maitreya, meaning "loving kindness" in ancient Sanskrit, seems appropriate to this exhibit, which is meant to inspire peace and kindness in all who view the precious relics.

The visit was organized by Frank Tedesco, who facilitates Buddhist meditation sessions at the host church.

Tedesco, who holds a doctorate in Buddhist studies, said he believes in the power of the crystals to inspire compassion and kindness in the viewers.

By way of example, he spoke of meeting a tour sponsor in Los Angeles in 2001. The woman, he said, lived in an area of the city rife with gangs and drug usage. She introduced the relics for community viewing and watched a change take place.

"The community experienced peace for months after the exhibit left," he said.

Eventually, the relics will be enshrined in a 500-foot high monument to peace in Kushinagar in northern India. The edifice, shaped like the Maitreya Buddha, is expected to take another 10 years or so to finish building.

Tedesco said the finished project will house free spiritual education sessions, health care and other programs to enhance the lives of people in one of the poorest sections of India.

"It will put the teaching of loving kindness into action," he said.

The sponsors of the Clearwater exhibit have similar hopes that visitors not only will learn about the Buddhist masters and the crystals, but also will be inspired to work toward a kinder and more peaceful world.

>>Fast facts

Buddhist relics

What: Maitreya Project Heart Shrine Relic Tour.

When: The church will conduct an interfaith opening ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday. Visitors may view the relics from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: The Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, 2470 Nursery Road.

Cost: Free but donations are welcome.

For more information: Visit www.maitreyaproject.org or call (727) 531-7704.

Buddhist relics on display at Clearwater church 10/29/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Adalberto Mejia, right, makes the tag at the plate on Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to score on a runner's fielders' choice in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone) MNJM103
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  4. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85

    Ml

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  5. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement

    Environment

    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)